Rushville Republican

Agriculture

February 7, 2014

'Master regulator' protein controls flowering, disease resistance in plants

WEST LAFAYETTE - The next time you stop and smell the roses, thank MED18.

The protein MED18 controls many important plant processes, including when a plant blossoms, how it resists key fungal diseases, and how it responds to environmental stress factors, a Purdue University study shows.

“MED18 is like a master regulator,” Tesfaye Mengiste, professor of botany and plant pathology and the study’s lead researcher, said. “The versatility of its functions is surprising.”

Understanding and manipulating MED18 could lead to improved resistance to necrotrophic fungal diseases in plants, Mengiste said.

Necrotrophs are fungi that infect and kill plant cells to take their nutrients, causing diseases that are difficult and costly to manage. Examples include northern leaf blight, ear rot and gray mold, which is estimated to cause a greater economic loss of ornamental plants and vegetables than any other disease.

When necrotrophs attack, they stimulate an increase in the expression of two plant genes that render a plant more susceptible to infection. But MED18 works with other proteins to “turn off” those target genes, contributing to disease resistance in an indirect yet important way. MED18 also helps activate a gene that bolsters a plant’s defense against wounding and infection by necrotrophs.

Mengiste and his fellow researchers found that the presence of MED18 limited disease symptoms and fungal growth in Arabidopsis plants infected with gray mold fungus.

“This provides a new hope for resisting fungal infections because MED18 functions differently than more classical defense tactics,” Mengiste said.

Using MED18 to toughen up plants’ defense against fungal diseases would not necessarily require generating transgenic plants, said Mengiste. Natural variants with desirable characteristics could also be used to cultivate more disease-resistant specimens in plant populations.

The study showed that MED18 plays a vital role in other plant functions as well, including flowering time and how a plant responds to abscisic acid, a hormone that regulates how plants cope with environment stresses such as drought.

Text Only
Agriculture
  • Farmer ships Vidalia onions ahead of start date SAVANNAH, Ga. (AP) - A major grower of Georgia's famous Vidalia onions said Wednesday he had begun shipping his crop early to supermarkets in defiance of the state agriculture commissioner, who has warned that a new regulation prohibits farmers from

    April 18, 2014

  • Hurt: WASDE report eases fear of low crop prices WEST LAFAYETTE - The U.S. Department of Agriculture's April 9 World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates continued a series of recent reports that have offered corn and soybean producers a more optimistic grain-price outlook than what was expecte

    April 18, 2014

  • Seminar to discuss quality forages, quality meat for producers WEST LAFAYETTE - Forage and livestock producers who want to learn about the role forage quality plays in meat quality can attend the Indiana Forage Council seminar. This year's seminar, Quality Forage-Quality Meat, will be held in conjunction with th

    April 11, 2014

  • Purdue Agriculture and Extension events Here is a look at current and upcoming events for Purdue Agriculture and Extension. APRIL 9-16: HARDWOOD LUMBER WORKSHOP The Purdue University Department of Forestry and Natural Resources is offering a workshop for those interested in the hardwood in

    April 11, 2014

  • Ag economist: Baby pig losses greatest in winter months WEST LAFAYETTE -- The impact of the PED virus in swine was felt most strongly during the unusually harsh winter months of December through February, Purdue University agricultural economist Chris Hurt said Monday. He said this means the losses of bab

    April 4, 2014

  • Study reveals farmers' buying preferences, concerns WEST LAFAYETTE -- Agribusiness leaders nationwide can use results from a new Purdue University study to help them become more successful by understanding their farmer customers better. The Large Commercial Producer Survey, conducted every five years

    April 4, 2014

  • USDA extends Milk Income Loss Contract program for 2014 WASHINGTON -- U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Farm Service Agency (FSA) Administrator Juan M. Garcia today announced the extension of the Milk Income Loss Contract (MILC) program. The extended MILC protects dairy farmers enrolled in the program

    April 4, 2014

  • U.S., South American soybean farmers unite in China ST. LOUIS - Farmers representing countries that produce 90 percent of the world's soybeans recently met with the customers who buy 25 percent of the world's soybeans. As part of the International Soy Growers Alliance (ISGA), leaders from the soy chec

    April 4, 2014

  • Wheat producers need to inspect crop as it breaks dormancy WEST LAFAYETTE - One of Indiana's coldest, snowiest winters in recent history could have damaged some of the state's winter wheat crop - a fact that necessitates field scouting, a Purdue Extension agronomist says. While snow cover insulates winter wh

    March 28, 2014

  • Home gardeners: 'Don't be fooled' by spotty nice weather WEST LAFAYETTE - Planting a home garden at the first sign of spring weather might cause big problems later, especially when more freeze days are likely ahead, a Purdue Extension horticulture specialist says. "Don't be fooled by the odd warm day we wi

    March 28, 2014

Featured Ads
AP Video
Raw: Greeks Celebrate Easter With "Rocket War" Police Question Captain, Crew on Ferry Disaster Raw: Orthodox Christians Observe Easter Rite Ceremony Marks 19th Anniversary of OKC Bombing Raw: Four French Journalists Freed From Syria Raw: Massive 7.2 Earthquake Rocks Mexico Captain of Sunken SKorean Ferry Arrested Raw: Fire Destroys 3 N.J. Beachfront Homes Raw: Pope Presides Over Good Friday Mass Raw: Space X Launches to Space Station Superheroes Descend on Capitol Mall Man Charged in Kansas City Highway Shootings Obama Awards Navy Football Trophy Anti-semitic Leaflets Posted in Eastern Ukraine Raw: Magnitude-7.2 Earthquake Shakes Mexico City Ceremony at MIT Remembers One of Boston's Finest Raw: Students Hurt in Colo. School Bus Crash Raw: Church Tries for Record With Chalk Jesus Raw: Faithful Celebrate Good Friday Worldwide Deadly Avalanche Sweeps Slopes of Mount Everest
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.